As with other crops, record rains in March limited field access as most coastal head and romaine lettuce growers geared up for planting. Those who did get in and get their crops harvested on time enjoyed profitable returns for their early lettuce and cole crops. However, prices since have dropped to drastically low levels well below the cost of production.
Prices on lettuce soared in mid-May to a high of $30 a carton with shipments down about 20 percent the first two weeks of May. Within a month, however, those prices had dropped to as low as $5 a box as a flood of product hit key markets at once, and prices remained at those low levels going into July.
Similarly, cauliflower and broccoli prices that peaked early on by late June softened considerably amid sporadic demand. Still the market is slightly higher than average this time of year due to gaps in supply.